Wednesday 12 Mar 2014
Dame Joan Bakewell, the government's Voice of Older People, has spoken out in support of a new campaign launched today (Monday 29 March) that is to raise awareness about abuse of older people in the community.
The Who Cares? campaign is to run over the next year in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire, led by BBC Three Counties Radio with support from Action on Elder Abuse and other care agencies.
Speaking on Three Counties Radio, Dame Joan said of the campaign: "The evidence is that they're very often underfed therefore undernourished. They're often very lonely and very depressed, isolated, unloved, uncherished and even, and this is very relevant to Who Cares?, even sometimes physically abused, not cared for properly, neglected. So this is a very, very important campaign."
A confidential hotline (0808 801 0345) has been set up for the public to report abuse or simply get help and advice.
Over the year, Three Counties Radio will raise awareness of the issue by recounting victims' and carers' stories and asking listeners to volunteer as community care champions, as well as setting up a network for carers to share their experiences. Radio station staff will be trained to deal with hotline calls to support volunteers from Action on Elder Abuse.
Nearly one million older people suffer abuse each year, mostly at the hands of their own family members according, to the 2007 UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People Prevalence Survey Report Action on Elder Abuse.
Calls to the hotline are free from a BT landline, calls from mobiles and other networks may cost considerably more.
BBC Three Counties Radio broadcasts on 95.5, 103.8 & 104.5FM and online via the BBC iPlayer.
It is estimated (by Action on Elder Abuse) that 1 in 12 of the elderly population of the UK (roughly 11 million) have been or continue to be victims of abuse.
53% of abuse takes place in the victim's home.
Overall, 51% of mistreatment involved a partner/spouse.
49% of abuse involves a family member apart from partner/spouse.
13% involves a care worker.
5% involves a close friend.
(Respondents could mention more than one person.)
Source: UK Study of Abuse and Neglect of Older People Prevalence Survey Report Action on Elder Abuse – 2007